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The Russian government announced that it is raising funding for the English-language state-run TV network Russia Today.
In 2015, the station, which has often been accused of being the Kremlin’s mouthpiece targeting foreign audiences, will receive $402 million (15.4 billion rubles), a 30 percent increase from this year.
The cash will be primarily spent on the launch of broadcasting in German and French. Currently, Russia Today broadcasts in English, Spanish and Arabic over cable and satellite.
Since the beginning of this year, an anchor and a reporter have publicly quit the station over disagreeing with the way Russia Today portrays events in Ukraine.
Russia Today announced the launch of broadcasting in French last month. According to a government document justifying the project, “international events in [French-speaking countries] are covered, as a rule, in a slanted way, showing Russia in an unfavorable light and creating negative attitudes about Russia, with all applicable consequences.”
“The launch of Russia Today’s French broadcast will help to change that trend that’s bad for Russia,” the document continued.
Launched in 2005, Russia Today currently has a global audience of 644 million in over 100 countries.
Some other Russian TV networks are also supposed to get state cash in 2015, but the amounts won’t change significantly from this year.
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